Thursday 2 September 2010

LEJOG day 5 Cycling to Carlisle

Had a great sleep at the Sutcliffe's and not long after waking up was treated to another superb breakfast of porridge, toast, tea and juice again. Usual routine of sorting bikes and bottles out and then we were off. Today was slightly different in that Neil Sutcliffe led us out for the first 3 miles.

Today's cycling was awesome. The weather was great. Laughs, jokes and light hearted chat a-plenty. On route to the first stop we encountered an awesome sight - some 50 or more Bambi like deer grazing in a field and many standing in the river drinking. This view really was awesome.

A major hill was encountered today. The infamous Shap Hill which rises to about 1,400 feet. This climb was awesome and seemed much easier than when I climbed it last year. Ben B was crowned 'king of the mountains', as he reached the summit first. Ben was followed by me and then Steve, the 17 year old. Both Ben and Steve have certainly proved themselves to be young, fit cyclists. At the top, we met a JOGLEr who like us was doing the trip in 9 days - how bizarre that we meet in the middle of our trips. Following the climb, we had an absolutely amazing, super zoomy descent.

All the stops followed the usual patten of eating plenty and filling bottles. The majority of the food we eat is the same - tuna sarnies, fruit, cake and flap jacks. Occasionally we have extra delights (usually left overs from the night before).

Our last official break was in a Morrisons car park. Some of the group took walks in search of toilets at this juncture. Chris fitted new lights to his bike which Mike had gotten from Halfords. Dave had to change his tyre. Dave was fitting a new tyre (again) as his had developed a bulge and was quite severley cut. I had warned Dave that bad luck appears to come in 3's, and here was the evidence - he punctured day 1, blew his tyre day 3 and now this.

As soon as we left Morrison's, Chris's rear light flew off (haha that'll teach him to buy from Halfords). Chris had the last laugh a little while later though, cos he got to use his lights after I had punctured. Such menace! We were near the finish for the day, so the other cyclists continued on whilst Chris and I fixed said puncture before cracking on at a speedy pace. Of course, by this time it was getting dark.

After about 12 hours from our start, we reached our destination. Our destination was High Gaitle Caravan Park in Carlisle (3 miles outside Scotland). And, no we were not spending the night in a caravan ... we were camping. The voices in my head were having a right giggle and commenting 'whose idea was it to camp after cycling for hours and hours, they should be hung, drawn and quartered'. It was dark, and despite having 2 tents, we only had the energy to erect one. With tent up, we then had to wait for our food to cook.

Our evening feed was such menace. We were used to being spoilt and having banquet style feasts prepared for us. But tonight, we had to cook for ourselves. Tonight we planned to cook chicken breasts on disposable BBQ which worked fine until the BBQ went out leaving un-cooked chicken behind. Grr. We moaned and complained and eventually decided to order takeaway. To order takeaway involved sending Guy and Mike downtown to pick up same. After a wait of about 2 hours they returned with pizza and chips (yay!) but the support vehicle was missing (boo!). During their abscence a few of the chickens did actually cook and were soon devoured. A 3 legged cat ate some of the un-cooked chickens. The support vehicle (actually Guy's car) had broken down, and the pizza guy retuned them to the camp site.
The takeaway food was great. So much pizza and various varieties. Over feasting we decided that we would call the RAC (Ben B being a member) and hopefully fix guys car. I was not sure of the outcome at this juncture, as after eating I went straight to sleep. Tonight I was 1 of 8 people to sleep in a 6 man tent.

Cycled a distance of 104.54 miles, at an average speed of 12.7 mph and a max speed of 38.7 mph.

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